Thursday, October 13, 2011


It’s LA Market Week. You’re a contemporary fashion buyer standing out front of the New Mart Building on the corner of 9th and Los Angeles Streets in the downtown Los Angeles Fashion District.
You’ve just schlepped the New Mart floors for appointments with showrooms that carry the lines you sell, to check out some new collections that you’ve scouted, and, of course, you’ve walked the booths of the Designers & Agents show on the 3rd floor.
You could turn left, cross Los Angeles St and start into the Cooper Building or go straight across 9th St into the hospital-like Cal Mart.
Or you could do something different, turn left up Los Angeles St., and check out what’s happening in just half a block away.
There are three buildings up Los Angeles St. that are well worth a visit – The Lady Liberty BuildingThe Academy Awards Building and The 824 Building. These former manufacturing and retailing locations have been converted into showroom space for apparel companies and small offices for industry professionals. They are populated by a generation of young, dynamic contemporary apparel movers and shakers that you really need to get to know.

The Lady Liberty Building
This 1914 building is the first you’ll come to at 843 Los Angeles St. It is also the most built-out with established contemporary men’s and women’s showrooms. There are three floors of two large showrooms per floor. Some of the showrooms accommodate a number of individual sales representatives under their own shingles. The others are large multi-line showrooms.
As an example, let’s look at the pioneer showroom of the building, Park LA ShowroomPark Women’s is on the 2nd floor with Park Men’son the 4th. They are large, hip spaces with exposed beams and raw brink walls that suit the building perfectly. Park Women’s also hosts two independent sales firms – SparklingOrFlat Showroom and Seamless Showroom.
On the same floor is the bright, clean-lined The Bar Showroom. The Bar hosts a number of independent sales reps including the dynamicThe Sydny with it’s inspired Australian collections, including bless’ed are the meek and Flannel. Leverage Los Angeles Showroom is also in here with the Australian collection, OHARA.
The Globe Showroom on the 2nd floor is a clean, modern space with some excellent contemporary collections.
Citizens of Humanity denim is on the 5th floor.

The Academy Award Building
At 817 Los Angeles St., the Academy Awards Building is just a few doors further along.
There are 2 floors of individual showrooms, and a penthouse showroom on the 4th floor with it’s own cool outside deck area that is home to the highly regarded, Dietch Public Relations.
The concrete floor and large metal-framed window showrooms hark back to LA’s “Chinatown” days. Some say that it reminds them of a New York setting. The rooftop is outfitted with salvage and re-purposed furniture. It is a funky, fun space that is full of potential.
On the 3rd floor, you’ll find Tracy Engelien Sales Showroom specializing in lifestyle, fitness and yoga collections. One of Tracy’s manufacturers is the sleek, comfortable contemporary basics collection, Emma & Emilie.  As well as producing a sophisticated, cool line, the owner/designer of Emma & Emilie, Angelika McKay, is committed to sustainable local production. Angelika loves the building’s cool, bohemian, creative vibe.
On the same floor, there is Magnet Showroom with it’s hip men’s and women’s young contemporary collections. So is xPose PR.

The 824 Building
Across the street is The 824 Building. Without a doubt, the anchor showroom in the building is T&A Showroom on the 4th and 5th floors. The principals of T&A are Alfred Davis and Tim Padilla. They have been here for 4 years and have seen the building grow in popularity as others have followed them.
They have had no trouble in getting buyers from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Kitson, Lisa Klein, etc. to make the trek up Los Angeles St.
They have a huge open office/showroom space with a 1500 sq. ft. balcony that they use for entertaining and events.
AMH Showroom on the 3rd floor has an excellent mix of men’s and women’s contemporary lines including the Australian collection, Afends.
The 824 building has 5 floors of showrooms and offices.

So next time you are at LA Market, do yourself a big favor; take the time to explore these up and coming LA Fashion District buildings. You’ll be glad you did.

Paul Brindley